It's a pretty cool design to use two monopods, but be weary about how much weight you should attempt to operate with these monopods. They aren't exactly designed to be operated sideways. If you're looking for a lightweight portable telescoping mini jib /crane, don't forget the new versions that have been released recently (found here)
So after the prototype DIY Jib Brackets touched down in the studio, I visited my local hardware store (Representing Orchard Hardware Supply, you know WestSide! Throwin' up the 'W'). Anyways, that's what my shopping cart looked like with plain super lightweight AL square tubing on the left, and perforated square tubing to the right. The AL is 1" and 3/4" square tubes. On the right is 1.25" + 1" perforated tube which is easier to work with - no drilling required. Perforated tubes are not in every hardware store, but they are also not difficult to track down if you call your local Metal Market. You can see some of these on Amazon (seen here). With one tube larger than the other, you can create a telescoping jib. This of course is not necessary, you can just use one solid piece for both top and bottom. My top tube is 4ft. long and the bottom is 3ft. long.
These Prototype brackets were designed with Steel. Heavy duty stuff, and once all the parts are assembled, the structural integrity is solid. With this design, we were able to eliminate the requirement for welded parts, which is time consuming and costly for manufacturing jibs. Being able to offer just the brackets also saves the end user from shipping costs due to weight and length of packaging. Once you get your hands on these brackets (if the idea ever flies), then it literally takes a few minutes of assembly with basic nuts and bolts and you'll be flying whatever size crane you can think of. A goal was to offer the complete set of brackets, nuts, bolts, nylon bearings, lock nuts, etc. for around $15 bucks. Will it happen? Don't know, but it sure is fun playing with ideas....
Sometimes I have the craziest ideas, and they don't always pan out very well. Here's one i'm quite excited about, but i'm not sure how others would feel. For the past few months i've had the idea of working on a 'DIY Crane Kit'. I went through the process of building a few Jibs myself and found that while you can save quite a bit of money, the hardest part to tackle is the mounting brackets.
So after a few designs, I've been working on a cost effective way to have special Jib brackets made that will allow you to make your own cranes / jibs. These brackets will be made from solid steel (very strong and durable), and will be perfectly aligned for smooth crane operation and modular so you can build your cranes to various lengths.
It will be so easy to assemble that today you could have a very small 4ft crane for an indoor shoot, and tomorrow you could have and 8ft., 9ft.,12ft. crane. There's also stuff i've been working on to show you guys how to make telescoping cranes with all off the shelf parts. Who knows what configurations people will have, and once you see these brackets, it will make more sense. I'm not going to go too much into details, but what you see in the box (above) will be pretty much all you'll need to get your DIY Jib started along with a set of instructions (and a video to follow). Oh and of course it will look very professional. Let me know what you guys think? Good idea or not?
Not a cheap solution since i'm using a rail set and clamps, but something like this can be done using other techniques. It doesn't take many of these large washers to add up to about 8lbs. and the further you can position the weight, the less you'll need to counter the weight in the front. Much easier than carrying around workout weights, making this portable Jib truly portable. I guess something like this can be used in the rear of your Shoulder rig too, if you can live with the aesthetics.
Sorry guys, holidays are keeping me busy, so i'll have to leave a Cliff hanger on this one. As many of you have seen, there's already a Crane in the studio. I wasn't very happy with the build or the movements, so instead of DIY'ing my own, I shopped around for a few weeks and grabbed a solid cheap one to upgrade. This crane I purchased was a total of $125 shipped, and it's got a lot of nice features. Right out of the box I was very pleased. A better build than the 'other' crane in the studio and comes with nylon washers and spacers on every moving part (less friction smoother movements). The crane folds in half for easy transport and with it's minimal design, is pretty lightweight. Don't get me wrong, this thing works great right out of the box. Next week i'm going to start a project about why I chose this crane, a few crane shooting tips, and of course add just a few more surprises minor things to really make it my own.... I'll have more tips on how it gets done after XMAS.
Martin Roberts is at it again with his interestingly suspenseful DIY videos. A short while back, he showed us a build video with his light portable DIY Crane, and this time he's back working on a lightweight camera slider. The entire video doesn't just show a budget DIY in the works, but is also shot using some budget techqniques. A bike LED lamp for lighting, a DIY crane for some shots, Canon T2i, the uber cheap Canon 50mm F/1.8 lens, Macro step up filters, and even the Sony NEX-5 was used.